Preservation Chicago yesterday announced its annual roster of the city’s most endangered buildings, including a couple of category-expanding surprises: in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s dedicated Year of Public Art, the city’s 20th-century public sculpture made the list.
So did the future site of the Obama Presidential Library, Jackson Park, and the adjacent South Shore Cultural Center Park.
Jean Dubuffet’s Monument With Standing Beast, on the plaza of the Thompson Center (which Governor Bruce Rauner is trying to sell), and Alexander Calder’s The Universe, in the soon-to-be revamped Willis Tower lobby, are among the prominent sculptures endangered by the likely demolition or renovation of their sites. Preservation Chicago notes that the entire top of Marc Chagall’s Four Seasons mosaic in Exelon Plaza has already been lost.
Changes coming with the construction of the Obama Library, the proposed creation of an elite 18-hole golf course, and park development suggested by the nonprofit organization Project 120 are among the possible threats to the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Jackson Park, and the South Shore Cultural Center Park. Preservation Chicago is calling for a transparent planning process for this historic landscape.
The 2017 list of structures Preservation Chicago fears are in greatest danger of demolition or loss also includes Altgeld Gardens, Chicago’s water cribs, Cornell Store and Flats, the Madison Pulaski Commercial District, and the Union Station Power House.